May 23, 1931- March 18, 2014
Barbara Scott passed away peacefully at Agapé Hospice on Tuesday, March 18, 2014.
Born in 1931, she earned a Master of Arts in Urban Sociology from Boston University and launched her career in social and market research positions in Toronto and Edmonton. Barb arrived in Calgary in 1965 to take a position as Research Director with the Calgary Social Planning Council but more importantly, to be near the grandeur, splendor and serenity of the Rockies.
Her lifelong desire to help others and her ambitious dreams of realizing Calgary’s potential as a great city in which to live, work and raise families led her to seek public office. First elected in October 1971, Barb served as an Alderman for centrally located Ward 8 (initially Ward 4) until she retired in 1995, carving out a record as the longest serving elected public official in Calgary’s history until recently surpassed by her colleague, Alderman Dale Hodges.
An impassioned advocate for the most vulnerable – seniors, children and the homeless – Barb was involved in various community initiatives; as a Member of Calgary City Council, she served as Chair of the Community Services Committee, President of the Metropolitan Calgary Foundation, and Chair of the Calgary District Hospital Group, which owned and operated the Colonel Belcher, Holy Cross, Peter Lougheed and Rockyview General Hospitals.
Barb was instrumental in the creation of safe houses to help vulnerable teens and in establishing a dental clinic to address the health needs endured by the homeless. She worked to initiate sidewalk curb cuts to aid those with mobility challenges. Proud of her successes, she fervently insisted that credit be given where it was due, recognizing it was only through the hard work and support of a collective community that they could be realized. Barb encouraged the ordinary citizen to get involved, especially in the planning of their own communities – and she supported them with their efforts. She was one of the few Aldermen in her day who for the most part of her public career, worked full-time to make a difference. Barb was scrupulously honest and forthright during election campaigns, returning donations over $100 so as not to be beholden to anyone. She was an active supporter of local artists and acquired many of their works that she displayed with pride, eager to promote their talent to those who asked.
Additionally, Barb served on many other city and community-focused committees, including the Calgary Police Commission, Calgary Public Library Board, Parks and Recreation Board, Development Appeal Board, Heritage Park Board, Local Board of Health and Calgary Planning Commission. She also served on two provincial committees, the Health Unit Association of Alberta and the Provincial Review of the FCSS program.
Following her retirement from City Council in 1995, Barb continued her involvement with various voluntary services and also served as a Canadian Citizenship Judge where she proudly welcomed new Canadians to the country and city she loved. She was instrumental in transforming the traditional formal Citizenship Court ceremony, moving it from the confines of a court setting and into the heart of the community. Barb firmly believed that such celebrations should be in (and with) the communities where our new Canadians had chosen to make their life. Barb conducted each ceremony in a way that was meaningful to each recipient, with ease, an injection of humor and most of all, humility.
Barbara Scott was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1997. Additionally, she has received the Medal of Honour of the Alberta Medical Association, the YWCA’s Women of Distinction award in community service and was a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International. She was made an honourary member of the Alberta College of Social Work, and she also received medals in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee, Confederation and the Alberta Centennial. In 2013, Barb was humbled by Calgary City Council’s decision to name a new inner-city park in her honour – within the same community that she represented for 24 years and worked tirelessly to make a better place.
Barb was passionate about the Canadian Rockies and was an avid lifelong skier and hiker, taking in their year-round beauty and regularly visiting her favorite retreats, Skoki and Assiniboine Lodges. At age 60, she enrolled in formal ski lessons, believing that one tends to “busy their life with the day-to-day and too often forgets mind-clearing activities”. She had her secret loves – hikes to Grassi Lakes, long walks through River Park and Sandy Beach, Zermatt, the restful village at the foot of the Matterhorn that she considered to be the most breath-taking place on the planet, everything chocolate, and Dr. Seuss. Barb Scott has now rejoined her faithful companions, Chinook, Snowball and Mikey as she begins her new journey.
Barb wished to sincerely thank the caregivers at Agapé Hospice for their attentive and compassionate care as well as friends and neighbours who assisted with generous and selfless acts of kindness, sent cheerful posies and shared kind thoughts of hope over the past few months. At Barb’s request, there will be no funeral or memorial service. Condolences may be forwarded through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. If friends so desire, tributes in her name to honour her memory can be made to The Calgary Foundation www.thecalgaryfoundation.org.
Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.
~ Dr. Seuss
In living memory of Barbara Scott, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH, Telephone: 403-276-2296.Print This Obituary & Condolences